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Vehicle accidents that result in the death of one of the victims or individuals involved in the situation are referred to as manslaughter under Ohio law. There are some situations, however, where the charge is elevated to aggravated vehicular homicide. The State of Ohio provides police and the prosecution with several options for how to charge someone who causes an accident resulting in a fatality, and this is simply one option available to them. This charge carries much more serious penalties and consequences for the defendant. Cleveland DUI attorney A. Dale Naticchia represents individuals in criminal defense matters involving aggravated vehicle homicide throughout Akron and other areas of Cuyahoga County. He can assist you with all phases of your case, and seek fair treatment on your behalf throughout the process, especially when it comes to how you are charged.Ohio’s Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Laws
Under Ohio law, there are three instances where a vehicle accident resulting in a fatality will be elevated to aggravated vehicular homicide. The first is where the driver was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The second is where the driver was operating the vehicle recklessly. Finally, if the driver commits a reckless operation offense in a construction zone, the charge can be elevated to aggravated vehicular homicide. It is important to note that this charge can apply to situations involving the operation of a boat or airplane as well.
The penalties associated with this charge depend on the manner in which the accident took place. If it was committed while driving under the influence, for example, the it is subject to a second degree felony charge as well as a mandatory prison term of two years to eight years. You also face a mandatory permanent suspension of your license. If you committed the act while driving with a suspended license or you have a prior charge for vehicular homicide or vehicular assault, then you face a first degree felony punishable by 11 to 15 years in prison, as well as a possible lifetime suspension of your license. If you received the charge for reckless operation of a motor vehicle, then you face a third degree felony which carries a prison term of one to five years as well as a mandatory license suspension for three years up to the rest of your life. There are also expensive mandatory fines that you will be required to pay in each situation.Assert a Defense Against an Aggravated Vehicular Homicide Charge
Although your situation may seem hopeless and you may feel incredibly overwhelmed by the charge against you, it is important to speak with a DUI / OVI defense lawyer to explore any possible defenses that may apply in your situation. For example, if the police cannot prove that your driving was the direct cause of the decedent’s death, then you cannot be charged with this crime. There may have been other factors at play in the accident, such as severe weather, improper road signage, or some contributing act on the part of the decedent and/or the driver of the other vehicle.
Finally, if you are charged with aggravated vehicular homicide on the basis that you were driving under the influence or had engaged in drugged driving, then the police will need to prove that you were intoxicated. If they do not follow the appropriate procedures for testing your BAC or determining that you were under the influence of drugs, that evidence must also be thrown out.Meet With a Compassionate DUI / OVI Defense Attorney in Cleveland
Lawyer A. Dale Naticchia knows just how stressful and overwhelming this situation is for you and your loved ones. The outcome of a criminal charge in Cleveland can have permanent consequences for your personal and professional life, and impact other events down the road such as a child custody dispute. He proudly serves clients located throughout Parma, Bedford, Berea, Rocky River, Garfield Heights, Stow, and Barberton. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call now at 216-520-5297 or contact him online to get started.